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<p>DD is 19 months and has decided that slapping is both a great way to express frustration and an interesting experiment to see what reaction mommy has to it...</p>
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<p>She does it all the time!! I know it is developmentally normal (right?) and totally typical toddler behavior but this is my first baby and I have no idea how to react.</p>
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<p>She slaps when she is angry (which is a lot). She slaps out of curiosity. She slaps sometimes lightly and playfully but it is definitely a slap just to see what mommy does.</p>
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<p>She watches me closely when she does a lot, unless she is really upset/frustrated and hitting in anger. I can tell she is working out what degrees of hitting she can get away with.</p>
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<p>She will slap my face if I pick her up because she is upset I had to take something away (most common slapping reason). She will slap my breasts when I am nursing her. She will slap my leg if she is mad. She will run across the room to slap me if she is mad about something.</p>
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<p>So when she does hit me I usually put her down if I am holding her and say I can't hold her because slapping hurts me. Sooo she hits me harder on my legs and I back away and she follows me to hit me etc....</p>
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<p>HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS?!? Seriously it is driving me crazy, I just don't know what to do. I have no interest in time outs or whatever, I don't think it would help anything. My aunt suggested slapping her hand back but how would that teach her not to hit stuff?!</p>
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<p>Would someone please explain it to me!? Or just tell me what you do!</p>
 

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Hi mama,<br>
I'm with you. My 14 mo dd is a hitter and hair puller. We have started doing the sign for gentle, you can google it , and putting her down if we are holding her or if we are on the couch. The sign language has improved the situation A LOT. Showing her how to be gentle and smooth when she is in a hitting frenzy has helped too. The gentle sign has also helped with her and the dogs. I know it isn't easy and that it hurts, literally. Hopefully this phase will be over soon. Hugs mama!!
 

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It sounds like she is really testing her boundaries. "Hmm, mama says don't hit her face. What if I hit her legs? What if I hit harder? What if I follow her and do it?" etc. At this age they start experimenting more with cause and effect, like "if I do/say ___ to mommy, how will she respond?"<br><br>
Consistently giving the same message that it is NOT ok is really important. That will shorten the phase. She will be reassured by understanding the clear limits and by knowing that you are the one in control of her world--she is not (that would be scary).<br><br>
It sounds like you have a good start--putting her down, ending the nursing session, going somewhere that she can't hit you are all removing your attention from her.<br><br>
In addition, you can work on soft/gentle touches when she's not hitting, so she learns what she CAN do instead. When she's got that down, I would stop her hand when she hits, give her a disapproving look, and say "Oh that hurts mommy! Can you give me a soft touch?" and guide her hand to touch you gently instead. If she does it, lots of smiles and positive attention. If she hits again, that's when I'd put her down or stop nursing. Is there an area of your house that is gated off so you can go be busy there and she can't come after you? Once she sees that she can only give soft touches or mommy will go do something else, she will change her tune. <img alt="wink1.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif">
 

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<p>I am not sure if this is gentle enough but My two kids started doing that also. At first for my son(who started doing it at 14months) I would tell him no hitting and to hug instead and when he was frustrated he would just climb up on me and hug me but then 6 months after he started again this time I would just hold his hand and firmly tell no hitting the same for DD(who is now 21months, DS is 4 y.o. now). It does not last long as they no not to hit us. They know the difference between playful hitting and frustration hitting. DD every now and then will look to hit but then lower her hand.</p>
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<p>We just have a problem with them hitting each other(well mostly DD hitting DS). DS can control himself more and comes to me when DD hits him but there are times he gets tired and would mostly wrestle her to the floor.</p>
 
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